This Friday is National Ride2School Day, a great opportunity to improve the health and fitness of young people.
There are already 374 schools in New South Wales who have signed-up for the annual event. Across Australia, organisers are expecting around 300,000 students to ride, walk, scoot or skate to school.
Most children live within two kilometres of their school gate, yet only 20 per cent of children ride bikes or walk to school, compared with 80 per cent of children 30 years ago.
According to Ride2School organisers, The Bicycle Network, schools that register under the Ride2School program have a significantly higher level of physical activity, with more than 50 per cent of participating children regularly riding or walking to school.
It's great to see more schools encouraging school kids to ride or walk to school. This event is an opportunity to teach children to ride safely and highlights the enormous benefits riding delivers for health and wellbeing, as well as for reducing congestion around our schools.
Children who ride to school arrive alert and ready for a day of learning. By making exercise part of their daily routine, these children are on track to lead an active and healthy lifestyle as adults.
I'll be visiting Bourke Street Public School on Friday morning, which is next to the award-winning City-built cycleway that stretches from Woolloomooloo to Redfern. There are up to 2,000 bike trips a day on the Bourke Street cycleway, including many kids going to Bourke Street and Crown Street public schools.
If you'd like information on Ride2School Day, or to register your school's participation, visit: www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/general/programs.